Still enjoying the Ride

When I woke up this morning, I made a promise to myself that I was going to go an entire day without the Brewers. A way to recharge my batteries going into the stretch run of the season. Seeing as the team had an off day, I thought that it would be pretty easy to take a break. I just had to avoid message boards, team sites and my Brewers media guide for 24 short hours. Some things of course, are easier said than done. I think I checked my first message board at about 9 this morning while on break at work. It is amazing to me how some people view things. At first glance you would think that the Brewers were 20 games under .500 with no hope for the postseason. So many fire Ned Yost threads mixed in with threads for players the Brewers should trade away or trade for. After reading all the ill will towards the team, it almost makes you think you’re on a Cubs message board. I think once they get started on a rant, they forget that the Brewers are still in first place and have been for the majority of the season. Granted, if the Cubs win tonight there will be a tie atop the NL Central. Instead of falling into the trap and thinking that the season is already lost, I’ve decided to stay positive about the entire situation. Going into the season, even the most optimistic Brewers fan still had doubts about how successful this team could be. I heard fans, journalists, and even team officials weigh in with their thoughts for the year. Victory totals anywhere from 75-92 were predicted with most thinking the Brewers had a legitimate shot at the NL Wild Card. That’s quite exciting talk for a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since 1982. Way back in 1982, I was only 3 years. A bit too young to enjoy the success of Yount, Molitor and the rest of Harvey’s Wallbangers. So to actually have a competitive baseball team heading into the stretch run is something that I’ve never had the chance to enjoy. This isn’t going to be a case of a team being good for one year and then going away. The Brewers have been built from within and they are set up to be successful for the better part of the next decade. It’s quite easy to look at some of the young players and project them down the road to being some of the top players in the game. Prince Fielder is already and MVP candidate. Ryan Braun is now the front runner for NL Rookie of the Year now that Hunter Pence is on the DL. Yovani Gallardo looks to be as good as advertised and should develop into a staff ace within 2 years. As with all teams, stars are great but you need to have a balanced all-around team for success. Bill Hall, Corey Hart, JJ Hardy and Rickie Weeks (if he can stay healthy) all look like players that have the skills to be top players at their respective positions. Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra, and Dave Bush look to team with Gallardo as the foundation of a solid pitching staff. Jeff Suppan, Chris Capuano, and Ben Sheets(if he is here after next year) will serve as the veteran leadership for the young hurlers. The Cubs may very well end up winning the NL Central and a team other than the Brewers may win the Wild Card. That will in no way effect the enjoyment I’ve had this season watching a young team grow up and come of age. Being a baseball fan isn’t about one year. It’s about the long-term investment a person makes to support a team in good times and bad. Whether it be this year or not, I will be rewarded for my loyalties to the Milwaukee Brewers.

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